Bikaner Camel Festival

Bikaner Camel Festival

An entire festival dedicated to the indomitable Ship of the Desert

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Bikaner Camel Festival, Rajasthan

Bikaner Camel Festival

Bikaner Camel Festival, Rajasthan | January 11 – January 12

Life in the harsh desert of Thar would not have been possible without the camel. Bikaner now hosts the Camel Festival every year to honor the “Ship of the Desert”, the resilient animal that helps residents survive in these extreme conditions.

The dromedary camels of the Bikaner region in Rajasthan are famous for their strength and endurance. The camel has always been an essential part of the lifestyle of Bikaner. This is borne by the fact that there was a Camel Corps which took part in both the World Wars and as well as in conflicts in Somaliland, Egypt and China. The Indian Army has continued the tradition of having the Camel Corps as an integral unit; and the Border Security Force, a paramilitary organization, still uses camels to patrol India’s desert border with Pakistan.

The Bikaner Camel Festival is held over two days, from January 11 to January 12. There is a procession featuring brightly decorated camels that starts at Junagarh Fort and ends at Dr. Karni Singh Stadium, which is the main venue of the festival.

DAY 1

At the Bikaner Camel Festival, camel owners proudly show off their camels. This festival is also a celebration of camel breeding and camel taming, in addition to camel fur shaving – intricate patterns can be found on the camels. The camel hair artwork is a slow process that takes three years in total to create. For two years, camel hair is allowed to be grown on the backs of these magnificent animals, while also being trimmed in preparation for the Bikaner Camel Festival. It in the third year, and right before the Camel Festival, that the fur is carefully shaved and dyed to come up with amazing patterns.

There is also a camel milking competition at the Bikaner Camel Festival, which further serves as proof of the bond that the locals have with their camels. The day ends with cultural performances that are a delight to see, bringing some much needed refreshment to weary eyes with their infusion of color.

DAY 2

On the second day, the attention shifts from the camels to the visitors who have taken the effort to come from afar and witness the local celebration of the camel, which has come to be vital to the residents of the region. Both travelers and locals compete together in tug-of-war events, a water pot race that is open only to females, and a turban-tying competition for foreigners. Everyone is treated to a wrestling exhibition, as well as a kabbadi match. Cultural events in the evening bring down the curtain on the Bikaner Camel Festival; and just like the previous day, the music and the colorful swirling skirts of the dancers enthrall visitors.

A stunning display of fireworks, which is no less of a treat to watch, officially marks the end of the Bikaner Camel Festival.

HOW TO GET THERE

IndiGo flies daily from Mumbai and New Delhi to the Bikaner region. The nearest airport is Jodhpur, which is about 150 miles away. Call IndiGo USA at +1 877-606-2560 for more information.

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